That was way back on Oct. 4, the final day of the regular season.
"Well rested" is one way to describe the 16-game winner, who hopes to get the Angels even with the Yankees on Saturday night in Game 2 of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
The game will be televised at 7:57 p.m. ET on FOX and is the only Major League action on tap for the day as the Dodgers and Phillies -- deadlocked at 1-1 in the National League Championship Series -- will resume play Sunday in Philadelphia.
Saunders would have pitched Game 4 of the Angels' AL Division Series vs. the Red Sox, but there wasn't one, and now his primary responsibility is to shut down a Yankees team that has won four straight postseason games and is steamrolling toward another Fall Classic.
Of course, the resilient Angels have proven all season that their "A" game -- though a no-show on Friday night -- is tough to beat, and one game does not win or lose a series.
Surely, the prognosticators are well aware that Saunders beat the Yankees 5-2 on Sept. 21 at Angel Stadium, despite surrendering two hits apiece to long-time nemeses Derek Jeter (7-for-15, 1 HR lifetime vs. Saunders) and Alex Rodriguez (7-for-14, 2 HR).
While that dynamic duo has given Saunders plenty of headaches, A.J. Burnett has had his hands full with Angels right fielder Bobby Abreu, who's rung up a .313 average (20-for-64) and 11 RBIs lifetime vs. the Yankees' Game 2 starter.
The chart below breaks down how experts from MLB.com and MLB Network see Game 2 of the ALCS shaking out.
ALCS Game 2 Predictions
|MLBN||LAA||0||2||1||Burnett masters Halos with complete-game two-hitter.|
|MLB.com||LAA||2||7||0||Tex homers; Burnett dominates.|
|MLBN||LAA||2||8||1||Yanks break out power bats; Burnett does job.|
|MLBN||LAA||10||15||1||Halos "steal" victory in Bronx.|
|MLBN||LAA||7||7||0||Saunders does enough; 'pen does the rest.|